For a while now I have been contemplating on this very issue, “Has social media changed the art of family relationships?” Listen, we can all act like this is not an influential part of our daily lives or we could take a minute to reflect; to actually see if we may be taking this social media era a little too seriously. The main reason I began to muse heavily about social media is because of how I noticed my personal life started to change for the worse. And, I do not necessarily mean divorce or my children and I not loving one another, but more so, in the communication department and overall interlacement with my loved ones.

I can take this back to my early teens when Myspace had all teenagers in the early 90’s full of excitement and intrigued us with how we could, as teens, communicate and express our thoughts to the public, with immediate family, friends, or if we were lucky enough to chat with our favorite celebrities. As a teen, this is an important developmental tool to aid in their self-esteem with encouragement to blossom with a sense of nurturing support system. At the time, this all seemed so innocent and we had the freedom to talk to whomever we so chose to without our parents micro-managing.

This by no means is a blog addressing the political aspects of social media, I much rather discuss this issue on a more up close and personal level. Honestly, be clear, I fell in love too with social media and all of the perks and avenues of networking that it provides for us all without having to be in the same state, city, or home with whomever I was communicating with. Problem is, just that, I started to become an addict and obsessed with everyone outside of my home and immediate family and lost track of the mere fact that I was starting to become disconnected with my parents, wife and children too. Yes, it may not have initially started off this way and in my own defense happened in an innocent manner, but none the less altered my way of thinking and fashioned some detrimental habits due to my offset way of thinking.

When we form these habits they tend to rub off on our loved ones too. My wife started to her obsession on Facebook, as did I, once Myspace lost its notoriety. She would be so worried about her family and friends’ next status update, pics, likes, and comments. There were times we would even put each other on hold when we were on the phone or even right next to each other in order to stay on track with Texting, Facebook, Twitter, and Skype. These things did not take place overnight, which is exactly why it may be hard to notice the inevitable disconnect that may soon arise. Being that I have a teenager, he too, would ask if he could set up online profiles to add friends and family members to it. But, mostly to keep up with the latest gossip in his school and surrounding schools as well. Teenagers already naturally become more anti-social anyway because of their hormones going erratic and the mentality that mom, dad, and their siblings are not what is popping at the moment anymore. And then you add social media.

The innovator that took the time out to create texting had a serious vision. It clearly has become one of the most addicting activities within all of our lives in these times. There is not too many things we can do that does not require us to text in some form or fashion. Even in college courses it is a part of the curriculum to assist us with networking skills.

My day would consist of waking up and commenting on events for my job or friends updates. Getting nonstop notifications throughout the day on friends adds invites, games alerts, sports updates, family texts, etc. When my family and I get home there were no more family chats. When I took a break I noticed one thing, we all had some type of device in all of our hands even my five year old. Which means none of us were even communicating amongst each other. All of our attention, love, and care was being given to the almighty internet. So, I started to reflect on how I was brought up as a child and how we would sit down at the dinner table and converse to one another and ask about how I day went and what went on while we were apart. You know it is sad when you are sitting next to your loved ones and instead of simply saying what is on our minds verbally we chose to text each other instead. Really, it is awkward how texting becomes such a habit that we can easily text someone right next to us.

I realized at that very moment that I missed calling someone for change and actually hearing their voice. I do not mean distant family and friends, I mean my own parents, wife and children. I much rather we get a grip on things now while we all are above ground because when we are gone we cannot get the time back that we lost. I truly believe social media still is a good tool within our lives. As one wise man told me, moderation is the key! Is this really what some of us have allowed to become the standards in our very own households these days? What are your thoughts?